This time of year has always been my favorite, so it is no wonder that I set a story during the Halloween season, especially since that story is called The Passion of Sleepy Hollow.
The hero, Braden Van Brunt, is the headless horseman, or rather plays that part for the annual Washington Irving Festival in October in present day Sleepy Hollow New York. However, the heroine is Katrina Van Tassel, the 1790’s innkeeper of the Sleepy Hollow Inn. One of the external issues for this couple is that the 18th century village of Sleepy Hollow where the festival takes place, only appears one weekend a year.
Of course once Braeden has met Katrina, he wants to spend more time with her, but the village disappears. So he does what any self-respecting hero would do who wants to find his heroine, he investigates her but nothing works, including private detectives. His only option is to return to the festival a year later, but that makes it difficult to build a relationship.
Lucky for them, having mutually satisfying sex keeps the village in present day for another day. Talk about pressure! It works fine for this new couple, at least until they get into a fight. Then it becomes a matter of whether they will ever see each other again or not (see excerpt)
The is story’s plot gave me an idea. I have started the annual Venetian Mask Giveaway. Every year around this time, I give away hand-decorated masks made in Italy like this one. For a chance to win this beautiful mask, be sure to enter the rafflcopter below. Good luck!
Passion of Sleepy Hollow
Recluse Braeden Van Brunt is not happy to be the Headless Horseman…until he meets Katrina Van Tassel, owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn, whose allure bewitches him from the front desk into the bedroom. When he discovers Kat and the village of Sleepy Hollow are cursed to exist in the present day for only one weekend a year, he realizes the sacrifice he must make if he wants to keep her.
Katrina Van Tassel lives between slivers of time. She thought she was through grieving her betrothed’s death, but her dreams flare to life when his mirror image arrives, requesting a room. Drawn to Braeden, she is taken to more erotic heights of intimacy than she ever imagined, but she can’t be sure if her heart is with him or the love from her past.
Knowing he has to conquer both time and ghosts to keep the only woman he’s ever loved, Braeden must put the past to rest. But the dead may not rest in Sleepy Hollow.
Excerpt from Passion of Sleepy Hollow
He didn’t look at her, but kept them moving. “I had an enlightening conversation with Jurgen.”
“Jurgen? What did he say?”
“He said you were planning to marry Brom. He said Brom disappeared the very day of your wedding. He said you’re with me because you’re still in love with Brom and think I’m him.”
Her gasp gave him a small amount of satisfaction, but then she tried to pull away. “Braeden, I think I can tell the difference between my dead betrothed and you.”
He stopped and looked at her. “Can you? Then why didn’t you tell me you were engaged to Brom?”
He started to pull her toward the inn again before she could form a word. He had one goal in mind to confirm everything.
“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to think what you’re thinking, especially when I hadn’t decided what my feelings were yet.”
They were at the back door of the inn, and he let her go. “And what exactly are your feelings, Katrina Van Tassel, fiancée of Brom Van Brunt?”
Kat put her hands on her hips, her eyes flashing. “And what are your feelings, Braden? I have yet to hear how you feel about me.”
“How I feel about you right now is that you betrayed me. You led me on. Let me think you enjoyed my company when all the while you were pretending I was your ex-lover!” He yanked open the door and stomped inside, making a beeline for her bedroom.
He ignored her and entered her room. Reaching her armoire in three strides, he threw both doors open, hard. One cracked.
“Braeden, what are you doing?”
The scent of brownies flooded his senses and he paused for a moment. Her scent. The woman he had thought he—the woman who couldn’t see beyond a ghost. With anger spurring him on, he pulled clothes out and threw them to the floor.
“Braeden!” Kat grabbed at his arm and he shook her off, but even in his anger he was careful not to hurt her. With her it was instinct.
He growled, “Don’t touch me.” He continued to pull material and clothes, cloaks, shawls, even blankets out of the armoire.
There it was. White material with delicate embroidery along the neckline and shoulders that declared it a wedding dress. He pulled it from its home and held it before her.
Her eyes grew round.
“Were you hoping to wear this again?” His fingers dug into the material. “Perhaps you wanted to wear it for me so we could recreate your long-lost love story?”
Kat stepped back and shook her head. “No. I kept it as a memory, nothing more. It was all I had left of the happiest time of my life…until I met you.”
He stepped toward her. “You mean until you met the man who could be Brom for you. I thought you were different. I thought you liked me for me.” He gave a hopeless chuckle. “You were different. You liked me for the ghost I could be.”
Emotions played across her face like a movie, so when her brows furrowed and her hands found her hips again, he had fair warning.
PASSION OF SLEEPY HOLLOW Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble
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For more information about Lexi Post:
Definitely, I love her Hope is a thing with feathers.
Congrats on the release of Passion of Sleepy Hollow, Lexi.
Awesome excerpt, gotta get the book!
Sadly, I don’t recall reading any of her poetry. Something I will have to rectify!
Thanks for the giveaway, Lexi and have a great Halloween!! 🙂
Haven´t read anything that I can recall, sorry to say.
Other than what I read in school, I try to stay away from poetry. =) I prefer novels.
Loved the excerpt, can´t wait for my chance to read more, and that mask was lovely!
Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Halloween!
Mina, how fun to know someone else who has a Dickinson favorite. Her poetry is my inspiration for the next book I will be starting. Love to get ideas from readers. Good luck!
Ashley, or you can wait to read Dickinson’s poetry at the beginning of my next book in the Eden series 🙂 Good luck on the mask!
Linda, I’m not a big fan of poetry. It took me teaching Dickinson poetry for years to really get her. I’m so glad you like the mask. Good luck!
I like the way you think. 🙂 This story sounds intriguing, I’ve always loved the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. When I was a kid, my Dad bought me my first books on LP’s 😆 Disney did the LP’s, they were really great. The Legend of Sleeping Hollow and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea were just two of the 20 plus records I had.
I have read Emily’s poetry, I can’t recite any of the poems, but I do remember them fondly. I guess I have to get my book of poems out and revisit them again. 🙂
BTW The mask is beautiful. A fine piece of art!
Gail, I remember those records, though I did have the specific ones you mention. What a great dad you had 🙂 I asked about Dickinson because I am in the middle of a series based on her poems. I’m always on the look out for people’s favorites 😉 I love giving these beautiful masks away. Good luck!
I remember somethings but most I am finding I have forgotten unless triggered by a memory. Then I find myself saying some tidbit of a poem or line or saying here or there. I love the excerpts and will look forward to the book. 😀
I have read some of her poetry as part of my studies.
Hi Linda, I love it when you have forgotten a poem and suddenly you hear a piece of it and it’s like running into an old friend. I hope that is how people will feel with my new Eden series inspired by Dickinson’s poetry. Good luck!
Hi Mary. I think a lot of us were made to study Dickinson. It took me awhile to actually like her. Now I really do as she has inspired my new Eden series 🙂 Good luck with the contest!
Heaven-is what I cannot reach…was one of my favorites…I think this part of the poem always spoke to me most during high school. A very emotionally challenging time..so happy not to be a teenager anymore..everything was so dramatic..but that’s when I discovered I liked to write poetry too, not just read it.
The Rapture of a finished Day—
Returning to the West—
All these—remind us of the place
That Men call “paradise”—
Karla, what beautiful poetry. You have a Dickinson feel to your 🙂 Good luck!
I’m sorry that I have not read any of her poetry. I have never really given poetry a chance but think perhaps I should. Sue
I don’t know Sue. Poetry isn’t for everyone. I only like a couple poets and Dickinson happens to be one. I like hearing about people’s favorite poems of hers because those poems can give me inspiration 🙂 Good luck on the contest!